Even visiting with family and friends is something you can check off your to-do list — the “nourishing friendships” line item that you never quite write down but feel guilty if you don’t do it.
This is the typical lifestyle of a person who works and/or raises children. But what about when you retire? When you wake up in the morning and there’s no place you have to be and the children are all grown and (mostly) self-sufficient?
We spend a big part of our adult lives planning and saving for retirement. This is an area where we can help. As financial professionals, we are here to help you create a retirement income strategy that you can feel confident about.
However, once you create a retirement income strategy, have you thought about a plan for how you will spend the 40 or 50 hours a week during retirement that you previously spent at your job?
Retirement isn’t all leisure and social activity. With today’s more transient society, more people end up in pre-retirement neighborhoods and friendships that were not lifelong. Along the way, individuals and couples start entertaining what they would like to do during retirement. Play more golf with your foursome. Spend more time barbecuing and hanging out with the next-door neighbors. Go sailing with your spouse.
The problem with these vague plan ideas is that they may not be compatible with the people you want to spend time with in retirement. It’s unlikely your golf buddies will all retire at the same time you do. The neighbors might be planning to move away to their retirement dream destination. Your spouse might be prone to seasickness, or consider a weekend shopping in New York City far more preferable.
While you may need to have more conversations about those “big plans” with your family and friends, what about your day-to-day activities in retirement? Perhaps you should think about an alternative, part-time work situation that you would enjoy. Or volunteer your time for a cause for which you’ve always felt a special tug. After all, people retiring today at age 65 could live another 20 to 30 years.
A recent survey found that two-thirds of workers age 50 and older either plan to work past age 65 or not retire at all. If you are considering a working retirement, note that experts say you shouldn’t take off too much time between jobs.
Even with retirement as an excuse, you don’t want to have long employment gaps. Things change quickly in the work world — particularly with technology — and you don’t want to get too far behind the curve when it comes to new processes and trends.
Experts also caution that age discrimination still exists, so your best bet is to use your network and connections to help secure a gig. If you just apply online to job postings, you could appear overqualified and too expensive for a position, or underqualified if you’re thinking of changing career path.
Offering to volunteer your time and expertise can be a good way for you and a potential employer to test the waters to see if it’s a good fit for a future paid position.
Whatever you do, consider that a plan for how to spend your time in retirement is just as important as a plan for your financial well-being.
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